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Employment in Manitoba grew at an average of 1.0% per year between 2001 and 2006, a pace just over half of the national rate of growth. At the same time, the unemployment rate declined from 6.1% in 2001 to 5.5% in 2006. The largest employment gains in 2006 were amongst construction workers and educational staff. There was an average annual employment increase of 3.5% (+4,700) in construction as well as 2.1% per year (+4,600) in educational services. These gains more than offset a decline of workers in manufacturing of 4,400.
Employment growth for Saskatchewan residents grew by an average of 0.6% per year between 2001 and 2006 while the unemployment rate declined from 6.3% to 5.6%. The biggest employment gains in 2006 for the province were in mining and oil and gas extraction (+4,300) workers, and educational services (+3,700), as well as construction (+3,200). On the other hand, there was a combined loss of 12,300 workers in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, restraining overall employment growth in the province.